Tunisia (Republic of Tunisia) has a Unicameral parliament with legislated quotas for the single/lower house and at the sub-national level. 57 of 217 (26%) seats in the Majlis Nawwab ash-Sha'ab / Assembly of People's Representatives are held by women.
At a glance
Structure of Parliament: Unicameral
Are there legislated quotas...
- For the Single/Lower House? Yes
- For the Sub-National Level? Yes
Are there voluntary quotas...
- Adopted by political parties? No
Is there additional information?...
Last updated: Mar 1, 2021
Majlis Nawwab ash-Sha'ab / Assembly of People's Representatives
|Quota type: Legislated Candidate Quotas||Constitution||Article 46 of the 2014 Constitution guarantees “equality of opportunities between women and men to have access to all levels of responsibility and in all fields. The state seeks to achieve equal representation for women and men in elected councils”.|
The National Constituent Assembly is composed of 217 members elected from 33 constituencies by the list proportional representation system. According to Article 16 of Decree 35:
‘Candidates shall file their candidacy applications on the basis of parity between men and women.’
|Legal sanctions for non-compliance||Electoral law||Lists that do not follow the principle of gender parity will only be admitted when the number of seats, in the relevant constituency, is odd (Article 16) .|
|Rank order/placement rules||Electoral law||
"Lists shall be established in such a way to alternate between men and women" (Article 16).
|Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates?||No||
Organic Law No. 16 of 2014 of May 26, 2014, on Elections and Referenda as revised and completed by Organic Law No. 7 of 2017 dated February 14, 2017, and The Basic Law No. 76 of 2019 dated August 30, 2019, Article 20,
Applications for candidacy shall be presented on the basis of the principle of parity between women and men, and the rule of alternately ranking women and men on the list. Unless required to do so by the odd number of seats in a constituency, any list violating this principle.
The law stipulates parity between women and men as a condition to accept lists, not a financial encouragement.
See more in International IDEA's Political Finance database
|Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties?||No||
See more in International IDEA's Political Finance database
Quota at the Sub-National Level
- Quota type: Legislated Candidate Quotas
|Quota type: Legislated Candidate Quotas||Constitution|
According to Law No. 7 of 2017, amending Law. No 16 of 2014 regarding elections and referendums, article 49 (9), candidates for municipal and regional councils are sumbitted on the basis of the principle of equality between women and men (50-50%) and the principle of rotating among them within the list. The presidency of party and coalition lists must also respect the principle of equality between men and women.
|Legal sanctions for non-compliance||Lists that do not respect the principle of gender equality between men and women are not accepted (Law no. 7 of 2017, article 49 (9))|
|Rank order/placement rules||No data available|
Constitution of 2014
On 26 January 2014 the Tunisian Constituent Assembly adopted the new Constitution, which, among other key democratic achievements, provides solid guarantees for advancing women’s rights and equality between women and men in elected offices. Article 34 of the new Constitution provides that “the rights to election, voting and candidacy are guaranteed in accordance with the law. The State seeks to guarantee women’s representation in elected councils.”, and the Article 46 guarantees “equality of opportunities between women and men to have access to all levels of responsibility and in all fields. The state seeks to achieve equal representation for women and men in elected councils”.
In the following period, the Assembly deliberated on the new electoral law, and in early May 2014 adopted the new electoral law, providing for parity and alternation between women and men on parties’ candidate lists, though fell short of requiring that parties designate equal number of women and men as the leading candidates on the lists, which based on the experience of the 2011 elections, would increase the likelihood of more women candidates being elected as MPs from across various electoral districts.
The law is to be reviewed by the Provisional Authority for Ensuring the Constitutionality of Laws (L’instance Provisoire de Controle de la Constitutionnalite des Projets de Loi) and if approved, will be approved by the President.
2011 Elections of the National Constituent Assembly
As a result of the newly introduced legislation for parity and alternation provisions in candidate lists, about 5000 women candidates participated in the 2011 National Constituent Assembly elections.
Although a positive development for the promotion of gender equality in Tunisia, the implementation of the principle of gender parity and the inclusion of such a high number of women candidates in party lists did not eventually result in equal representation of women in the National Constituent Assembly. Due to low district magnitude, it was very difficult for a party list to win more than one seat per constituency and 93 per cent of the candidate lists were headed by men. This resulted in women forming 27 per cent of the elected members of the Assembly.According to IPU. "Following the example of the 2011 elections to the National Constituent Assembly, the 2014 electoral law required that electoral lists be presented on the basis of gender equality, with women and men alternating on the list. 68 women were elected (31%), up from 57 in 2011." (www.ipu.org)
- Basic Law. no 7 of 2017 dated 14 February 2017 concerning the revision and completion of Basic Law No. 16 of 2014 of 26 May 2014 relating to the elections and the referendum
- The Constitution of the Tunisian Republic, 2014
- Decree Law no. 35 on the Election of the National Constituent Assembly, 10 May 2011, accessed 04 April 2014;
- Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, ‘Report: The Situation in Tunisia’, 1 June 2011, accessed 04 April 2014
Inter-Parliamentary Union, IPU Parline Tunisia
- Belschner J. (2020) Empowering Young Women? Gender and Youth Quotas in Tunisia. In: Darhour H., Dahlerup D. (eds) Double-Edged Politics on Women’s Rights in the MENA Region. Gender and Politics. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-27735-2_10
- Belschner, J. (2021). Electoral Engineering in New Democracies: Strong Quotas and Weak Parties in Tunisia. Government and Opposition, 1-18. doi:10.1017/gov.2020.34
- Tunisian Parliament website, http://www.chambre-dep.tn/
- Tunisiaonline, "Tunisian Women in Figures",